According to the World Health Organisation, sepsis is ‘one of the most frequent causes of death worldwide’. It is estimated that as much as 20% of global deaths are sepsis-related, and that 15 per 1000 hospital patients suffer sepsis related complications.


At MedResQ, we manage international patients, both hospitalised and those discharged, that have a broad range of medical illnesses, sometimes in locations in which the healthcare capabilities are limited, and where standards may not be of an international level. As part of our rigorous medical case management process, consideration and assessment for sepsis is never far from our minds, whether during our assessment of medical data, or during calls with hospital staff and the patient.



Sepsis is a life-threatening emergency that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its tissues and organs. It can progress rapidly and can result in severe sepsis and septic shock, which, if not identified quickly and treated effectively, can result in severe and critical complications, multi-organ dysfunction and death.

Sepsis can also be hard to spot, but early symptoms can include dizziness, confusion, muscle pain, breathlessness and/or rapid breathing, blue or grey skin, or a rash.

Statistics and Impact 

The statistics surrounding sepsis are staggering:

  • Global Incidence: Approximately 49 million cases annually.
  • Mortality Rate: Nearly 11 million deaths each year are attributed to sepsis, accounting for about 20% of all global deaths.
  • Healthcare Costs: In the United States alone, sepsis management incurs an estimated $24 billion in healthcare costs annually, making it one of the most expensive conditions to treat.
  • Country Focus: In the UK, sepsis results in 80,000 people suffering life-changing after-effects and causes up to 48,000 deaths per year

Our approach to assessing for sepsis 

As an international medical assistance company, understanding the risk of sepsis to our patient group, as well as monitoring patients with sepsis, is vitally important.

The sepsis data discussed emphasises the importance of being patient-focused and medical data driven in our case management, and this is especially important when assessing patients who are either being treated in hospitals with limited resources and suboptimal standards, or patients who have been discharged following an illness and are recovering in a hotel.


Early identification of sepsis is crucial. Both our medical case managers and medical escorts are qualified healthcare practitioners and are trained to recognise the early signs of sepsis.

We assess all hospital patients on a regular basis, looking at their medical data, the reported condition of the patient, as well as the patient’s own reports of how they are feeling.

For discharged patients, our medical case managers and operations coordinators regularly call patients to assess their condition and response to treatment. We may ask patients for photographic evidence on certain occasions, such as when reviewing surgical wounds for signs of infection, and we will refer patients for medical assessments at an early stage if we are not satisfied with their overall condition.


If we have any cause for concern regarding the condition of a hospitalised patient, or if medical data shows evidence of a worsening infection or signs of sepsis, we will raise them with the responsible clinicians, and we will seek to better understand the clinical picture, the management plan, and to assess if the service has limitations.

For discharged patients that we are remotely monitoring, if we have cause for concern, our medical operations team will triage the most suitable means for reassessment. This may be with a general practitioner or pharmacist, or via a direct referral to an emergency department, depending on the level of concern.

For escorted repatriation cases, if, on initial assessment, the medical escort considers the patient to be showing signs of a worsening infection or sepsis, it is immediately escalated to our medical operations team to help coordinate further management locally, and in almost all cases, this will result in a delay to the mission to promote patient safety and to enable acute hospital-based care.

For cases where a patient has already been diagnosed with sepsis that is being managed in hospital, our medical case managers provide enhanced medical monitoring of the case and will track the condition and progress or deterioration of the patient. This enables clients to have the best and most accurate data about the patient.

There may be cases where the condition of the patient or the local capabilities of the hospital are not aligned, and in these situations, we use our broad international network of healthcare providers, and sometimes air ambulance operators, to move a patient to a location with better healthcare resources.


Sepsis remains a clear and present medical threat that can have devastating and life changing consequences as well as death. As an international medical assistance company, we are committed to safeguarding our patients by making sure that we have a deep and comprehensive understanding of their condition, their response to treatment, and that we are always ready to escalate their case if there is clinical concern.